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Did you work for pay? If not, did you provide unpaid work for a family business or farm? (Those who did are considered employed.)

Only then are the survey participants asked whether they had a job and, if so, whether it was full- or part-time.

The government’s definition of unemployed is someone who’s out of work and has actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.

Those without jobs who haven’t looked in the past month but did look in the past year are considered “marginally attached” to the work force.

— Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer ___


In normal recoveries, government hiring helps economies recover from recessions.

Not this time.

When you count the 7,000 public-sector jobs lost in August, governments at all levels — federal, state and local — have slashed 670,000 jobs since the recession ended in June 2009. By contrast, private companies have added 3.5 million jobs.

It’s the first time since World War II that governments have shed jobs this deep into an economic recovery. At this point — three years and two months — into the nine previous postwar recoveries, government jobs had risen an average 8 percent.

This time, they’re down 3 percent.

— Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer



Here’s what the two presidential campaigns said after the August jobs report was released:

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